Mary S. Corbishley MBE 1905-1995:
Mill Hall Oral School for the Deaf, Cuckfield, Sussex
by Ian M. Stewart Trafford Publishing

"There will be many moments when you doubt everything & everybody, there's one thing you must not do, that is doubt yourself."

All people at some point in their lives probably wonder if there is a purpose to their existence, something they were meant to do or be. Many never find the answer and enter the workforce always wondering if the career path they have fallen into was the right one. A few, though, discover a calling and spend the rest of their lives shining as bright lights in their vocations. Mary S. Corbishley, or "Corby" as she was nicknamed, was one who found and enthusiastically embraced her life's purpose.

Like with most of us, Corby's future vocation was not immediately clear. Illness interfered with her education in her youth, and her brief encounters with romance didn't seem likely to lead to the roles of wife and mother. She was remarkably gifted with children, however, and while serving as a nanny in 1929 for a young deaf girl she stumbled upon what would become her life's work and passion. Becoming a successful teacher for the deaf would prove to be an uphill battle, but sustained by her faith in God and her desire to counter society's prevailing opinions about the hearing impaired that often labeled them as uneducable and mentally deficient, she rose to the challenge. Considered in many ways a pioneer in her field through her focus on having her pupils learn and subsequently learn through lipreading and speaking as opposed to relying strictly on sign language, Corby founded an oral school for the deaf that helped students for almost fifty years.

The author's well-researched book gives his readers insight into the life of a woman committed to making a difference. It is a loving and detailed portrait of one whose dedication to the deaf helped change their lives for the better.

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